There is a similarity or even equality between many sentences in English language such as:

  • I happened to come across the scientific definitions while reading.
  • I came across the scientific definitions by chance while reading.
  • I came across the scientific definitions accidentally while reading.

My question is that if there is any possible data set/collection/group that indicates such situation that if some words replace with other (not just synonyms and antonyms) and the meaning of the sentence remain same while the sentence itself has a different looking. For example, the first sentence changed into the other two examples by removing the verb happened and changing the tense of verb come and then adding by chance and accidentally at other part of sentence. (However we can even change these sentences more by removing while and replacing when I was, but to keep it simple let's just assume we left that part intact)


2 Answers 2


There is a partial set. It's called a Thesaurus. This is quite valuable in finding alternate words, but not good at confirming whether a particular construction will work the same with both words.

Essentially you asked two questions: one about replacing words, for which there is a reference work; the other about equivalent phrasing, which is a result of learning a lot of syntax rules, and cannot be answered here.

  • I know about Thesaurus . as I mentioned, my focus was to see if there is anything( even partial) to detect equivalent phrases? if it needs that learning, can you tell me how to build or at least where to start? my aim is not to build one solution for everything. at least, I can propose a tool which can do such things. did you get my idea?
    – lonesome
    Feb 6, 2015 at 14:34
  • thanks for the compliment. even for the Thesaurus, it seems it does not have a glossary to use in programming. do you have anything in mind to replace with it that can use ?
    – lonesome
    Feb 7, 2015 at 5:52
  • actually I know something like WordNet, but I thought maybe there is a more complete one and accordingly, I was looking here for an answer.
    – lonesome
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:00
  • and I think you mistook me, I dont want a glossary for computer terms. want a glossary that contains synonyms of general English language.
    – lonesome
    Feb 7, 2015 at 8:31

A neural network connected to big data should be able to do this, but it seems beyond the free-to-air options. At least I tried with Google Assistant. It seems to have too short an attention span for verbal questions, and when I typed in a request for a different way of saying a shorter version of one of your sentences it said it didn't know the answer. There may be a research computer that can already perform such an operation.

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